Collections of the Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums/Photo: Erich Lessing

Sacred-tree plaque. Carved in high relief, this fragment of a Phoenician ivory from Samaria exhibits a line of stylized palm trees with alternating pain of lotus blossoms and buds beside each tree. Although this piece is dated to the ninth or eighth century B.C., the sacred-tree motif that it depicts was used in mythological contexts as far back as the third millennium B.C.